Swiss households fork out more to protect the environment

A common sight outside Swiss apartments on recycling day Keystone

Between 2008 and 2016, Swiss spending on environmental protection rose by 5%, though its proportion of GDP slightly fell. Households increased their contribution by almost a quarter.

This content was published on April 26, 2018 - 17:15

The figures were released on Thursday by the Federal Statistics Office (FSO) and provide a barometer of “the financial effort devoted to preventing, reducing, and eliminating pollution or any other environmental damages”.

In 2016, the FSO said in a statement (in French)External link, overall spending on the environment came to CHF11.4 billion ($11.5 billion), or 1.7% of Swiss GDP. In 2008, though the overall figure was 5% lower, the proportion of GDP was 1.8%.

The source of the spending still came mainly from business (CHF5.2 billion) and public administration (CHF3.8 billion). The contribution by households, however, increased considerably; in 2016 citizens were responsible for CHF2.4 billion in environmental spending, an increase of 24% since 2008.

This figure notably takes into account payments of local waste collection fees and water charges, as well as the extra costs borne by buying more bio products, the FSO wrote.

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Overall, some two-thirds of the 2016 total was accounted for by waste and water treatment costs, though this represented a 5% drop since 2008.

In contrast, spending in other areas such as protecting soil and water sources went up by 67% in the past decade, while the protection of biodiversity and lands rose by 73%.

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